If you are debating between a latex mattress and an innerspring mattress, be aware they are two very different types of mattresses with different properties. Many people are used to an innerspring, but if you have the opportunity to buy a latex mattress you should take advantage of it. Latex is superior to innerspring in many ways.
What is a latex mattress?
A latex mattress does not have any springs or coils in it. Unlike an innerspring mattress, a natural latex mattress is made out of one type of material: latex. You may be wondering what latex is, exactly. It is a natural product that comes from the sap of the rubber tree. This milky sap is processed into mattress blocks which have a natural springiness and which offer excellent spinal support.
A latex mattress will therefore feel soft yet supportive with some natural bounciness without any need for springs or coils. Latex is highly breathable due its natural open cell structure, and this is ideal in warm climates like Singapore. Additionally, latex mattresses have pinholes in them which further enhance the natural airflow.
Also, latex is naturally mould resistant and dust mite resistant without needing added chemicals, in contrast with innersprings. Innerspring mattresses usually have chemicals added to them for those purposes.
Latex mattresses are widely considered the most comfortable type of mattress on the market today. Indeed, latex mattresses enjoy a very high customer satisfaction level. They are also one of the most durable on the market, being able to retain softness and comfort for a long time without sagging.
On average, latex mattresses are more expensive than innerspring (note that innerspring prices cover a wide range though). However, with a latex mattress you will find that the benefits to you are more than worth the extra money.
What does a latex mattress feel like?
When you lie down upon a latex mattress, you will first feel a pleasant soft sinking feeling followed by a feeling of firm yet comfortable support. This is why latex mattresses are becoming so popular worldwide.
Those who suffer from chronic pain, such as back pain, find that the comfort of a latex mattress helps alleviate the pain. Increasingly, medical professionals such as osteopaths, physical therapists, and so on are recommending latex mattresses for their ability to align the body and spine properly and comfortably.
What is an innerspring (spring coil) mattress?
An innerspring, or spring coil mattress, is made of many metal coils surrounded by soft supportive foam. The idea behind these coils is to offer some bounciness to the mattress, while the foam is there for comfort.
The number of coils can vary from one mattress to another. Although this can affect comfort, there are many other factors which determine how comfortable an innerspring mattress feels. Some of these things are the size of the coils, the gauge of metal from which the coils are made, the thickness of the foam padding, and so on.
What does an innerspring mattress feel like?
When you lie down upon an innerspring mattress, you will feel like your body is being gently supported on top of a mattress. But you won't feel that soft sinking yet supportive feeling that a latex mattress delivers.
When lying down you should not be able to feel the springs on a well-made good quality innerspring mattress. But be aware that as they age and the foam layers on top break down, you may start being able to feel the spring coils, and this is uncomfortable, especially for those ‘not so good quality’ innerspring mattress.
Advantages and disadvantages of a latex mattress
- Outstanding comfort - a latex mattress performs above and beyond other types of mattresses. The soft comfort and supportiveness of latex is able to alleviate pain.
- A latex mattress does not transmit movement easily. If someone on one side of the bed rolls over, it won't affect the other person.
- No harsh chemicals - latex is a natural product.
- Latex is naturally resistant to dust mites and mould. Latex mattresses do not need added chemicals to protect from these problems.
- Superb air circulation - latex is naturally breathable due to its open cell structure. Furthermore, latex mattresses have pinholes inserted in them during their processing, allowing for much better airflow than any other mattress.
- Highly durable - a latex mattress has a longer lifetime than other types of mattresses.
- Excellent body pressure support - the spine is correctly aligned while sleeping.
- Higher cost - a latex mattress can be expensive compared to other mattresses.
- Heavier - a latex mattress weighs heavier compared to most innerspring mattresses
Advantages and disadvantages of an innerspring mattress
- Innerspring mattresses start out low in price. High-end innerspring mattresses can be costly, but a basic innerspring is cheap.
- Easy to find - innerspring mattresses are one of the most popular types of mattress, so you will have no difficulty finding one to try out when you are shopping.
- Are often fairly lightweight - the weight varies a lot from one mattress to the other, but innerspring mattresses tend to be moderately light and therefore easy to turn.
- A very wide range of firmness levels is available.
- Comparatively short lifetime - the top comfort layer can wear down rather quickly, meaning that it is possible to then feel the springs. Another reason for the shorter lifespan of an innerspring mattress is gradual sagging over time, and eventually this will lead to sleep discomfort.
- Metal coils may pose ‘antenna risk’ - those who are concerned about electromagnetic radiation should stay away from innerspring mattresses. The metal of the coils is said to be able to act as an antenna and amplify ambient electromagnetic radiation. Just google ‘mattress antenna’ and you can find articles on this issue.
- The possibility of noise from springs - an innerspring mattress may make noise in response to movement. This noise is almost always from the springs and can result in annoying squeaking or clunking sounds.
Latex versus innerspring mattresses
Latex is much better than innerspring when it comes to buying a great mattress. A basic innerspring mattress is very affordable, and many people own them, but they just do not perform as well as a latex mattress. Although the cost of a latex mattress is higher, its durability is also longer, so buying one now means you won't have to change it out as soon as an innerspring one.
Also, an expensive innerspring mattress can actually cost more than a normal latex mattress. You will find that a latex mattress will be a lot more comfortable. In contrast, a high-end innerspring mattress may be all about creating a luxurious look for the customer - without actually offering much more comfort than a low-end innerspring.
An innerspring mattress is still a good mattress - but just not as good as latex when comparing the two. Latex clearly offers more in terms of comfort, which is the primary goal of any mattress. Latex also delivers additional benefits which an innerspring does not. For example, in a warm humid climate like Singapore, it's important to recognize the natural mould resistance of latex and its excellent airflow. In contrast, an innerspring mattress is not naturally mould resistant. Overall, a latex mattress has many more advantages, and fewer disadvantages, than an innerspring mattress. Perhaps not surprisingly, latex mattresses boast a very high owner satisfaction rating.
Are you already familiar with an innerspring but not with a latex mattress? If that is the case then you should try out a latex mattress. A latex mattress will be a big step up comfort-wise from what you're sleeping on now.
Since the opportunity to shop for a new mattress comes only rarely, this is a good time to make the most of it! Seize the moment and find out first-hand how a latex mattress feels.